A social crusader, Paul Amadi, described the Central Bank of Nigeria’s (CBN) new cashless policy as destructive, saying it could create problems for millions of Nigerians.

In an interview with reporters, Amadi criticized the main bank for the announced cap or limit it would impose on people and businesses that use ATMs to withdraw their money, insisting that the government does not have that power.

“Money is part of the property of the people and the government cannot infringe on the civil rights of citizens,” he said.

He questioned the whole idea that the government even thought about citizens’ money and tried to dictate to them how to spend that money. “As always, this is only going to affect the poor masses.

“The rich and powerful would always find ways around this movement. It’s an idea found in totalitarian socialist nations, not in a free market economy, free democratic society like Nigeria.

“It works against the economy no matter what the bank thinks it’s going to accomplish. Western nations even make loans and money available in multiple ways for their citizens to spend and create demand and supply. But here we are with our own government trying to suppress demand for an economy that is struggling to stabilize instead of encouraging it,” he questioned.

He said the United States came up with the new color for the $100 bills for ten years and has been phasing out the old notes ever since, but regretted that Nigerians act like autocrats.

Amadi further said that Nigeria cannot have a policy that restricts people from spending their money, even old notes.

“The central bank’s setting of a date that requires Nigerians to deposit all their old notes is illegal,” he added.

He argued that “as long as our government prints real money, banks are required to accept it, since it is still legal tender. There is nothing like an open time frame. We have Nigerians who are out of the country and visit once in years. They keep money at home for emergencies, and telling them that their money is due seems like financial illiteracy to me. Money doesn’t expire.”

He said that companies have a million reasons to spend and cannot be restricted by any policy, stressing that such policies undermine the economy and CBN is not helping the nation with the new policy.